The NBA Finals matchup is finally set, with the Miami Heat taking on the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have had a week off since completing a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, and they host Game 1 on Thursday night.

Ahead of the NBA Finals, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone gave a brutally honest take on what lies ahead, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

“This is going to be the biggest challenge of our lives … and that’s the way it should be.”

The Nuggets are aiming for their first NBA title in franchise history, and after finishing the year as the 1-seed, they have everything in place. The Nuggets even entered the NBA Finals with more than favorable odds. 

The Heat are the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference and nearly blew a 3-0 lead before they finally ended the Boston Celtics season in Game 7 on Monday night. But none of that matters, and Malone knows that as well as anybody.

As he said, this will be the biggest challenge of their lives, and it all begins on Thursday in Denver. Nikola Jokic was fantastic all postseason, and Jamal Murray has also had a strong showing so far.

But, the Heat have defied all odds after losing the first game in the play-in tournament, although they have defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and now the Celtics to win the Eastern Conference and return to the NBA Finals.

This isn't any ordinary NBA Finals series with an 8-seed taking on a 1-seed, but this should still be a terrific showdown.